How one WT graduate went from being the company’s fourth employee to leading the delivery of geotechnical interpretation and foundation design on a project set to be a key stepping stone for achieving net zero in the UK. Day job aside, Simone’s strengths as an innovator do not stop there, with Simone’s approach to digital software and automised processes being highly commended, she has founded a beginner coding class for young engineers and also leaves a legacy behind her at ETH Zürich where she founded a networking platform for women, connecting students with key influential females that have previously graduated.

Simone graduated from ETH Zürich in 2015 with an MSc in Civil Engineering. She joined Wood Thilsted in June 2016 as a Graduate Engineer, when the company had just four employees, and has since grown to more than 150 and operates as a multi-disciplinary design company across three continents.

Simone’s successful career developing from a graduate at WT, combined with her enthusiasm, has been a key reason why the company has been able to recruit a large number of talented female engineers; currently, the Geotechnical Engineering and Design department employs 10 women, more than 50% of the total 18 in the department. Following Simone’s success recruiting female engineers within her department, this approach has recently been applied to other areas of the company.

She has also been a fundamental part in WT’s yearly celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, actively participating in discussion panels and presentations to continue to raise awareness and support gender equality in the workplace, and the wider industry. Simone is also responsible for the graduate network at WT and has been fundamental in launching the Geotechnical toolbox talk series, a series of internal sessions which showcases key disciplines within her department.

Throughout her career, Simone has been an advocate for women in the industry and has been campaigning to raise awareness from a very young age. At University, Simone founded a networking platform for women that connects students with key influential females that have previously graduated, ensuring that whilst women equate to just 25% in their field, they are to still be represented in talks and debates at the University. Leaving a legacy behind her, the event marks its 9th year this Spring and Simone recently returned as a speaker herself.

A Chartered Engineer for the Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE) since 2019, Simone continues to be super engaged within the institution and leads several key transformational innovation projects at WT, one being the development of key digital software packages which automises key soil interpretation processes, setting a benchmark for industry standards.

Following discussions surrounding Simone’s approach to digital software and automised processes, Simone set up a beginner coding class that allows graduates and students exposure to key innovative developments early in their careers.

Most recently, Simone has provided an exceptional contribution over the past two years to one of the WT’s largest projects. Acting as a geotechnical package lead on the detailed design for a large offshore wind farm, Simone leads the technical and delivery of geotechnical interpretation and foundation design tasks. Simone developed software to carry out the geotechnical interpretation, coordinated the foundation tasks and demonstrated excellent people, project and client management skills, allowing optimised, cost-effective and sustainable foundations to be safely designed.

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